Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Ray Halfmoon prefers hightops, but he gladly trades them for a nice pair of moccasins for his Grampa. After all, it's Grampa Halfmoon who's always there to help Ray get in and out of scrapes — like the time they are forced to get creative after a homemade haircut makes Ray's head look like a lawn-mowing accident.
This collection of interrelated stories is heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny. Cynthia Leitich Smith writes with wit and candor about what it's like to grow up as a Seminole-Cherokee boy who is just as happy pounding the pavement in windy Chicago as rowing on a take in rural Oklahoma (quoted from Goodreads).
Indian Shoes is uniquely written as the book is made up for a series of short stories about Ray and Grampa Halfmoon's adventures and little mishaps. Grampa Halfmoon and Ray have a very close bond that I really enjoyed seeing come to life. Through the series of short stories readers come to know Ray lost both of his parents when he was a baby (the story mentions what happened), and he's been with Grampa Halfmoon since then. Grampa Halfmoon and Ray enjoy their visits to OKlahoma to visit family, fishing and baseball and it's on their way to a Cubs game that the stumble upon a pair of Indian Moccasins, which makes Grampa pretty homesick.
This is such a delightfully charming story. Through the little mishaps both Ray and Grampa Halfmoon have, I loved seeing how their love and support for each other kept getting stronger and stronger. I also really enjoyed the fact that Cynthia had her characters living in Chicago, I think this will help young readers realize that Native Americans live all over, and not just on reservations. My favorite aspect of the story are the little things Grampa Halfmoon teaches his grandson Ray. Indian Shoes is a fabulous book to have and I highly recommend picking it up. It's a great edition for any classroom and personal home library.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
No one would believe me but at times I would choose wartime in Saigon over peacetime in Alabama.
For all the ten years of her life, HÀ has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by . . . and the beauty of her very own papaya tree.
But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. HÀ and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, HÀ discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the strange shape of its landscape . . . and the strength of her very own family.
This is the moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one life to the next (quoted from Goodreads).
Written in prose, Inside Out and Back Again is a moving story written using the authors own personal experience of moving from Vietnam to the US just after the war. If this beautiful cover doesn't capture your attention, than the story will.
Ten year old Ha is a refreshing, captivating voice. She invites readers to get to know her more and understand what it's like to be in her shoes. Living in war torn Vietnam she's grown up with her mother, and three older brother. Her father has been missing in action since she was one, and in order to protect her family, Ha's mother must make the terrifying leap of faith to move her family to a country they know little about. The US is much different that living in Vietnam.
Ha not only has to learn to adapt to a new way of life, and a new language, she learns first hand what segregation is and has to deal with bullying. Thanhha's writing paints a vivid picture of Ha's world, from her life in Vietnam, escaping on the ship and then immigrating to the US during the 70's. It wasn't hard to visualize Ha's struggles, to feel her sorrow or to laugh along side her. I was surprised that Thanhha is able to bring all this to life using very little words.
I enjoyed getting to know Ha and her family. The transition coming to the US isn't just hard for her, but it's hard for her whole family, and Ha and her family made me realize how much I take for granted. Along with Ha, I really liked getting to know their neighbor, Miss Washington. She not only tutors Ha in the evenings teaching her english, but she helps Ha accept her new life and she does so with love and compassion. I really enjoyed watching the bond between the two characters form.
Ha's story caused me to really think, and it's one that's left an impression on me. Thanihha has done a wonderful job at introducing middle graders to a historical read. This is a book I would definitely encourage young readers to pick up. Ha's story offers a lot to be discussed in both class room settings and in book club groups.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
None of their previous river experience can prepare them for the approach of a deadly hurricane and a Mexican gangster who’s carting a kidnapped child in tow. In order to make it out of the canyons alive, Dylan and Rio will have to find a way to get both themselves and the child away from the fugitive, all while navigating the wildest waters of the Southwest (quoted from Goodreads).
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The Ocean Fairies keep all the sea creatures safe and happy! But when the goblins shatter their enchanted conch shell, seven magical sea creatures leave to search for the pieces. The Ocean Fairies must find the shells . . . and their animal friends!
Ally's dolphin friend, Echo, is guarding a shell near the aquarium. Can Rachel and Kirsty help track him down?
Find the missing creature in each book and help save the ocean magic! (quoted from Goodreads).
The Ocean Fairies keep all the sea creatures safe and happy! But when the goblins shatter their enchanted conch shell, seven magical sea creatures leave to search for the pieces. The Ocean Fairies must find the shells . . and their animal friends!
Rachel and Kirsty are on a whale watch! Can they spot Whitney's pet whale before it's too late?
Find the missing creature in each book and help save the ocean magic! (quoted from Goodreads)
Though I skipped books 2-5 in the series (I plan on purchasing this entire series soon), I was still able to continue the series's story with out feeling lost. I wouldn't recommend skipping books, as I jumped from book 1 into book 6 and missed which fairies and adventures Kirsty and Rachel went on to find the other 4 missing conch shell pieces. I loved meeting Ocean FairyWhitney and her orca Fin.
As with Ally's story, both Rachel and Kirsty aid Whitney in finding the 6th missing shell in hopes of getting closer to restoring balance to the ocean. This fun, unique series engages readers in a new adventure with each book, as well as introduces them to another friendly fairy and her ocean pet. As a mom, I am really looking forward to having this series on hand for my little girl is old enough to read them. This is a series I would have completely fallen in love with had I read it when I was in grade school.
I definitely recommend picking up Daisy Meadows's Rainbow Magic Ocean Fairies series!